D.R.A.M. may have just summed up the current rap game in one album.
The 28-year-old has just come out with his debut studio album, Big Baby D.R.A.M. A golden-doodle joins D.R.A.M. on the cover, an accurate foreshadowing of the sheer peculiarity that is the album.
Listeners are greeted by “Get It Myself,” a smooth mixture of ethereal synths and subpar singing. D.R.A.M. sings about his self-sufficiency, a theme that quietly haunts the entire album. A short two minutes later, an instrumental oddly reminiscent of the Pokemon theme song drives D.R.A.M. and Young Thug through the half sung, half rapped entirety.
This confusion continues throughout the album. Most songs feature at least some singing, and some rapping. The instrumentals are just as varied.
“In A Minute/In House,” minus the bass track, could be featured in a haunted house, while “Broccoli” could be the theme song to a Nickelodeon show. Meanwhile, “Outta Sight/Dark Lavender Interlude” could be played in a nightclub. While historically, these instrumentals might not be featured in rap at all, idiosyncrasy has slowly but surely become the norm. While it’s not entirely unpleasant to listen to, it certainly doesn’t hold a whole lot of musical value.
Lyrically, the album is extremely diverse. At times, D.R.A.M. details marijuana use, while occasionally he reminisces on past love and girls that he has “pressed on since middle school.” He also touches on an apparent alcoholism, but asserts that he has succeeded in spite of it all.
While D.R.A.M. certainly isn’t the best singer of all time (or rapper, for that matter), he certainly has fun doing it. Sometimes artists take their music too seriously and end up either too emotional or not expressive enough. D.R.A.M. hits a happy medium on “Big Baby D.R.A.M.” The energy is contagious.
D.R.A.M. and Lil Yachty contrast on “Broccoli” without banging heads; Yachty lazily raps a boastful verse and D.R.A.M. complements it with energetic bars. While the beat is a bit ridiculous, even the biggest rap haters sway a little to the music.
Later in the album on “Sweet VA Breeze,” D.R.A.M. slows it down and spits one of the happiest verses to date.
D.R.A.M. certainly hasn’t created a rap masterpiece with this freshman album. However, in the current era of rap it doesn’t seem like many people are trying to. The focus lies more in individuality, whether that be out of legitimacy or simply a want to have fun and be goofy.
“Big Baby D.R.A.M.” has something for everyone. Whether the listener is into trap, ’70s jazz or smooth R&B, they’re sure to enjoy at least some portion of the album. It’s obvious that D.R.A.M. has a great time making music, and while there is some honing to be done, one can certainly appreciate passion.